Cheers to that: Vail Wine Classic returning in August with tastings, seminars, dinners and more
Summer marks the return of Colorado wine festivals
Hosted mountainside in Vail from Aug. 12-15, the Vail Wine Classic will include samples from hundreds of high-end wines, spirits and beers at several tasting sessions throughout the weekend. The in-person, open-air festival is a ticketed event with limited capacities to manage crowds and allow for more personal time with master sommeliers, winemakers and other industry professionals.
“The summer of 2021 marks the return of destination events celebrating master winemakers and wine enthusiasts alike,” the Vail Wine Classic’s return announcement said.
Organizers have worked diligently to implement health standards required by counties in which these wine classics take place. To enforce distancing, more Grand Tasting sessions will take place, capacities will be limited and designated “sipping stations” will be set up, among other protocols.
Team Player Productions, which puts on the Vail Wine Classic, has discovered a silver lining with adjusting to health protocols — food and wine events that are “VIP experiences.”
“These outdoor celebrations provide open air flow, temperature checks for guests and exhibitors alike, masks required outside of guests’ Sipping Station and increased hand sanitizing stations to provide a safe, comfortable experience for all,” the announcement said.
For tickets and more information, visit vailwineclassic.com. A portion of Vail Wine Classic ticket sales benefit the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to maintaining, educating, advocating for and building sustainable, non-motorized soft surface trails while conserving the natural environment of Eagle County and its public lands.
Sessions and tickets
Two two-hour Grand Tasting sessions will be hosted at the soccer field along Gore Creek at 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 13. The two remaining two-hour sessions will be hosted at the same venue at 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14. Tickets are $99 each. Guests looking for an extended experience can purchase early access Grand Tasting tickets for any session, granting them 30 extra minutes with winemakers and master sommeliers, for $129. Double Trouble Grand Tasting tickets include early access and tickets to both sessions on Friday or Saturday for $225.
New this year, the Vail Wine Classic will introduce wine dinners, paired lunches and lifestyle and classroom seminars — including Riedel’s popular wine glass demonstrations — to punctuate the weekend. Culinary offerings will be presented by the Colorado FIVE, a select group of influential chefs and beverage professionals who represent the state’s exceptional regional cuisine on the national culinary map. A full schedule of events will be released in April.
The Vail Wine Classic will feature hundreds of wines from around the world, from the everyday to the esoteric. Participating wineries currently include Colorado favorites such as 7 Cellars and Carboy Winery; California staples such as Alexander Valley Vineyards, Knights Bridge Winery and Crown Point Vineyards; Oregon darling Willamette Valley Vineyards; and countless international offerings.